(Written by Chris Mohn)
I read somewhere recently that many fathers only want one thing from their children, hint – it is not a gift. Quality time is the love language that many of us crave from our children. Sure, a card with a heartfelt sentiment is touching and appreciated. Likely to become a keepsake in a shoebox in the back of our closets. But what we want is to spend time in your presence, to hear how you are doing, what challenges you are experiencing – for you to share your lives with us.
We spent so many years in “the care and feeding” of you, our most precious children. As you grow up, we spend even more years in the “we do not negotiate with terrorists” part of your upbringing – and of course, we all DO negotiate with you terrorists. It is perfectly normal for you to grow up, go off to school, graduate, get a job, and start living your own adult life. The thing is that we are never really ready for any of this, even if we have been thinking about it and feel like we are prepared. You will always be our little people in some odd way. When you were young we got juice from watching you do your work, excelling most of the time, failing occasionally.
We want nothing more than to witness your happiness and success, to be your biggest fan, watching from the bleachers. Okay, we sometimes want to be on the bench, maybe as a player-coach, to be slightly more involved. My Rita explains it this way: "If you are saddled with a tough decision, or a peer-pressure related choice, close your eyes and imagine the look on my face.” WOW – what a visual, the look on a mother’s face, not always love and approval you will see.